14 March 2006

Tuesday Odds 'n' Ends

by Phil Johnson

  1. Our esteemed English physician-friend Adrian Warnock has made his 2,000th post, and fittingly, he highlights another famous doctor—the Doctor—D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (who was Welsh, not English, and therefore—dare I say this?—somewhat less starchy than the redoubtable Dr. Warnock. No, I'm joking about that. Lloyd-Jones always wore a full overcoat and hat to the beach, even in the summer. And he'd sit there reading Richard Sibbes and trying hard not to get too much sun. Adrian, by comparison, is a veritable party animal.)
         Anyway, Adrian credits the Doctor with inspiring the current breed of Reformed Charismatics, and there's no doubt that Lloyd-Jones had a major hand in this. But lest anyone accept the common classification of MLJ himself as a "charismatic" (an error Dr. Warnock himself carefully avoids), you ought to see Lloyd-Jones's own assessment of the modern Charismatic movement, which is scattered through the pages of his book titled Prove All Things.
  2. Joel Hunter, one of the regular patrons at the "Boar's Head Tavern," added a late comment to one of my posts from a few days ago, raising some interesting questions about the role of propositions in the affirmation and defense of the Christian faith. I briefly considered whether to make a whole new post in reply to his thoughts, but decided to answer him in the meta instead. (You'll find my reply immediately following his comment around entry number 53 in this thread.)
  3. But one thought nags at me that I didn't actually spell out in my reply to Joel: It's annoying, and fatuous, the way defenders of postmodern epistemologies invariably fire back the accusation that if you won't get on board with the pomos' renunciation of certitude, it can only be because you're stuck in modernity; you're a Cartesian foundationalist; your point of view is indebted to Comte; you have uncritically adopted modern scientific methodology and presuppositions, or whatever. Newsflash: Logic, propositions, and critical thinking existed centuries before modernity came on the scene. And those are not exclusively "Greek" ideas, either.
  4. Here's an irony that constantly amazes me: Those who are defending the coherence of truth and the propositional content of faith are actually the closest spiritual heirs and offspring of Machen, Spurgeon, and others who opposed modernism more vigorously than anyone else a hundred years ago and more. The people who pretend to see too much modernity in that point of view are actually echoing the same arguments and ideas set forth by people who a hundred years ago were peddling modernism in the church, while laughing at the archaic points of view being defended by Spurgeon, Machen, and their fellow-soldiers. Are we living in Bizarro World, or what?
  5. Have "postmodern evangelicals" learnt nothing from history? Obviously not. They are too tied to the notion that the latest prevailing point of view in the secular academic world must finally be the dawn of true enlightenment. And they hold this point of view while they laugh at the coherence of biblical truth and label those of us who defend it as "slaves to the Enlightenment." Go figure.
  6. I normally wouldn't make a point out of patting a fellow Pyro on the back in such a public way, but this is really good, and I agree wholeheartedly with Daniel.
  7. This, on the other hand, is just utterly apalling. If I accused Schuller of this kind of easy-believism and reductionism, someone would probably crawl out of the woodwork to accuse me of exaggerating. But he does a nice caricature of himself without any help from me.
  8. Quote: "The battle between Michael Spencer and Phil Johnson (Baptists) last year involved a lot of denominational theology and was the most polarizing and heated flame wars in the religious sector of blogs I’ve ever seen." Riiiight. That just goes to show: You cannot kill a good myth.

Phil's signature


donsands said...

That is one high escalator!

I'm still trying to get a grip on what's propositional.

I'll kick it around with a EMC friend, and then It should hit home, I would think.

FX Turk said...

I was gonna link to Adrian here, and then I thought that somebody would think I was takig a shot at him to raise our blog stats.

And then I come here and I see that Phil has already taken care of business. Wow -- Adrian has 2000 posts, and he didn't have Dan Philips helping! How does he do it?

Doug E. said...

Great points,

Thanks for your work,


Daniel said...

I have to admit - if wealth and salvation could be gained by making a decision to sign a card - Schuller's card is "purdier" than most.

Darel said...

I was going to have a "conversation", and then realized that what I really wanted was a logical discussion.... I'm so confused.

Neil Cameron (One Salient Oversight) said...


Lloyd-Jones was an eminently practical and clear-minded individual.

Why did he wear what he wore to the beach? Such a point can only come from someone who has never been to an English beach! :)

Steve said...


At first when I saw "Tuesday Odds 'n' Ends" and the list of boldface red titles flash up on my computer screen, I almost thought we were in for a Blogspotting treat.

Not quite, but close enough.

Thanks for the heads up on those who commit the category error of defining propositions in terms of positivism.

Matthew Self said...

"The battle between Michael Spencer and Phil Johnson (Baptists) last year involved a lot of denominational theology and was the most polarizing and heated flame wars in the religious sector of blogs I’ve ever seen."

It must be a real shock when these people stumble across James White's blog. If your disagreement with Spencer was a flame war, then White's issues with any number of people (Dave Hunt comes to mind) was thermonuclear war.

Personlly, I've seen more blood drawn on your average day at seminary.

Jonathan Moorhead said...

I think they have bought up and sold out of all those "Ticket to Heaven" cards at the Free Grace conference here in Dallas.

joel hunter said...

Horribly long comment in response to some of the remarks you made here is posted at the previous meta.

Adrian Warnock said...

Phil, I have made a public apology for my part in continuing the mythology.